Impacts of COVID-19 on Indigenous Communities in Canada


  • Jocelyn Benji University of British Columbia
  • Gemma Tomasky University of British Columbia
  • Kai Kaufman University of British Columbia
  • Rosalin Miles University of British Columbia; Indigenous Physical Activity & Cultural Circle



Background: The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious and potentially deadly virus with growing research examining the mechanism of outbreak and community spread. It is commonly spread through respiratory droplets. This virus has caused a global pandemic declared on March 11, 2020, which has initiated and continues to cause negative health and wellness effects worldwide. This pandemic had led to the closure of social infrastructures, local businesses, and financial instability. Purpose: The purpose of this literature review was to explore the experiences and responses to COVID-19 for Indigenous communities in Canada, specifically looking at the physical health and wellness in these communities. Methods: A literature review was conducted in June 2021. An infographic was created after a review of the literature. Results: Many Indigenous communities in Canada experience the disproportional effects from historical and ongoing health pandemics due to factors such as social determinants of health, the effects of intergenerational trauma, and systemic racism. Indigenous communities have found strengths in community-led initiatives that focus on promoting overall spiritual, mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing. Conclusion: Indigenous communities in Canada are successfully persevering through the COVID-19 pandemic by maintaining culturally relevant connections with family-centred and land-based approaches to physical health and wellness that have been practiced for generations.


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How to Cite

Benji, J., Tomasky, G., Kaufman, K., & Miles, R. (2021). Impacts of COVID-19 on Indigenous Communities in Canada. The Health & Fitness Journal of Canada, 14(4), 22–34.




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